On Tuesdays & Thursdays during Teachers Write! Virtual Summer Writing Camp, we’ll be sharing quick-write prompts, designed to get you free-writing for a few minutes in response to a question or idea. Some of these will feel like writing memoir, some will focus more on fiction or nonfiction or poetry. Some of them will just be hard to categorize. Many will be prompts that you can bookmark and share with your student writers later on.
Our Tuesday-Thursday quick-writes can be used as a simple free-write, brainstorming, warm-up activity OR as a way to deepen your thinking about a work-in-progress. So feel free to approach the prompt in whatever way works best for you, even if that means ignoring it and writing about the other thing that sprouted in your head when you sat down to do the quick-write. Okay… got your keyboard or pencil ready?
Tuesday Quick-Write: Sometimes…
Imagine a place that you love… It can be your own kitchen or backyard, a faraway beach, a bustling city market, or a hard-to-reach vista at the end of a hike.
Start by writing this:
Sometimes, (in your place, on your beach, wherever you are)…
Then brainstorm all the things you might see, hear, smell, feel, taste and wonder in that place.
Feel free to scribble this in prose or just as a list, or if you want, you can write it as a free-verse poem. Here’s part of a poem that I wrote, called “Sometimes on a Mountain in April,” that you can use as a mentor text if you’d like. It starts like this…
Sometimes, on a mountain in April
the rocks are so slippery
you have to slow down
and this is good.
It’s when you’ll notice
a quiet curtain of moss
that drips with melting snow.
It’s when you’ll hear the rush
swooping up tired old leaves
carrying them off
in dizzy laughter
to somewhere warmer,
Or go in your own direction. The idea here is to mine some memories and focus on sensory language. If you’re working on fiction and want to do this activity writing in a character’s voice, feel free to try that, too – you may find that what your character notices will be interesting to you. If you love science writing, try “Sometimes in an electron field…” or whatever fits your passion.
If you’d like to share a few lines of what you wrote today in the comments, we’d love that – and promise that all our comments will be friendly supportive. (We’ll talk about more constructive critiques later on. Let’s just get our feet wet with compliments today!) If you’d rather keep your writing to yourself today, in your notebook or on your hard drive, that’s fine, too.Please feel free to TALK to one another in those comments, too! Some things you read there will resonate with you or spark memories or simply make you sigh. Writers will appreciate hearing about that… I won’t be able to comment on every single post today, but I’ll pop in and read, and you know that cheering one another on is part of this community, too!
Please note: If you’re a first-time commenter, I’ll have to approve your comment before it appears. This may take a while if I’m not at my computer, but don’t worry – I’ll get to it and it will show up later on!